The Vancouver Aquarium has rescued a sea lion that got itself caught in garbage off the east coast of Vancouver Island.
The facility's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre was dispatched to the east coast of Vancouver Island to help a male California sea lion that had a braided net tangled around its chest, abdomen and flipper.
'This is our garbage that’s causing the problem.' - Jill Dwyer, manager of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
The rescue took place during the third trip in a new pilot "disentanglement project" launched last year.
However, the team was not been able to locate another sea lion, now called Kiyo, that was recently repeatedly spotted in Fanny Bay with wire wrapped around its neck.
Dr. Martin Haulena, head veterinarian with the aquarium, said he hopes to locate and free Kiyo during one of the team's future trips.
Jill Dwyer, manager of the Vancouver Aquarium's Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, says the plight of the Fanny Bay sea lions is a reminder to all of us to be more careful with our garbage.
- In Canadian first, wild sea lions freed from marine debris
- Sea lions rescued from slow death in Fanny Bay, B.C.
"When you pull that broken wire off your equipment, or slide the plastic packing strap off a delivery box, you might think nothing of tossing it aside, but those actions have consequences," she said in a written statement.
“Entanglement is something we see across the country, involving all kinds of wild animals. This is our garbage that’s causing the problem,” she said.
The aquarium's rescue team estimates 400 sea lions in B.C. waters are currently ensnared in some form of garbage or marine debris.